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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Modern, Indian
Upmarket restaurant

Tue–Thu 5:00pm–11:00pm
Fri–Sat 5:00pm–midnight
Sun 5:00pm–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Essential


Capitol Hill
622 Broadway E.
Seattle, WA
(206) 324-1108
This Pacific Northwest take on nouvelle Indian delivers on fun—and, usually, flavor

Obvious nods to Indian food (onion-poppy naan and batata wada (potato fritters) share the table with Pacific Northwest offerings (lavender duck leg or stinging nettle soup), and it all adds up to something that feels completely new. So does the ordering system here, which is, to put it charitably, a bit bewildering. A thali consists of ten small plates; combined with an appetizer and a dessert thali (which is a must), it’s enough food for two.

That said, many of us prefer the pared-down happy-hour menus that focus on snacks like virtually perfect eggplant fries drizzled with honey and sprinkled with coarse salt, or “naanwiches” stuffed with duck or beef cheeks. But the thali is a big part of why Poppy works. The chef can play around, customers can test-drive new flavors, and none of this requires a major financial or philosophical commitment. A relatively small but creative wine list makes for some great choices—you’ll find yourself wanting to select multiple wines to meet up with all of the flavors of the food.

Poppy’s design is controversial. None of us can describe the bright oranges and blonde wood without evoking IKEA. Fun and cute is an appropriate vibe for this restaurant, but the big round polka dots, the slashes of color, and the simple squat furniture make us wonder if crayons and a coloring-book place mat should come with each thali. It’s the constant buzz of people, really, that keeps the atmosphere feeling cool. And they come (and come back) for good reason.

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